A few days ago, I was forwarded a copy of an email that was sent by Linda Sarna, the Chair of the UCLA Academic Senate to a group of faculty members who expressed concerns over the hiring of Steve Alford.
In the email, she indicates that she contacted Chancellor Block about the situation and, as a result, a meeting was held with Chairwoman Sarna, Chancellor Block, Executive Vice Chancellor Scott Waugh, Coach Alford and AD Dan Guerrero in attendance.
She indicates that Coach Alford "seems...to have a new sensitivity to the issues." But, she is also realistic enough to know that they will need to keep an eye on things in the future.
It's interesting to note that meeting apparently took place on April 11th, the same day as the Alford apology statement was released.
I will also note that I know how this came to Chairwoman Sarna's attention. Suffice it to say, that it probably doesn't happen without the work of the folks here at Bruins Nation.
So, while we may not get any answers to our emails and phone calls to the Chancellor's Office or the Morgan Center, this community was still a driving force behind this. We may not yet have the outcome we've been seeking, but I personally take heart in the fact that we were able to help inform people who are in a position to raise questions which caused Chancellor Block, Scott Waugh, Dan Guerrero and Steve Alford to spend time addressing the concerns we shared.
It's not a total victory. Chianti Dan is still AD and Alford is still our basketball coach, but it is definitely a victory.
The text of the email follows:
From: Sarna, Linda
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 8:35 PM
To: [Recipients removed]
Cc: [Recipients removed]
Subject: Follow-up about your concerns
Thank you for sharing with me your concerns about the statements made by Coach Alford. I too was concerned about the tone and the content of his remarks. I therefore contacted the Chancellor and, on Thursday, April 11, I was invited to a sit down conversation with the Coach and Dan Guerrero, along with the Chancellor and EVC Waugh about the situation. We had a very frank discussion with many questions from me and others. I told them that I was concerned and disappointed in how this situation was handled. My overall impression is that they got it. Bottom line, Coach Alford did apologize and seems to me to have a new sensitivity to the issues because of our discussion. Of course, I believe that we will have to see how matters are handled if this type of situation arises again in the future.
Linda Sarna, PhD, RN
Chair, UCLA Academic Senate
3131 Murphy Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1408